Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC

Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC

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Stairway to the Stars Colorado's Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott HC
 
Stairway to the Stars Colorados Argentine Central Railway By Dan Abbott
Colorado Rail Annual #26
Hard Cover
Copyright 2005  
224 pages  

CONTENTS
Introduction   9
Preface13
The Railroad
1Construction: The First Step21
2Never on Sunday39
3To the Top of the Continent59
4On to Gray's Peak, and Troubles83
5Folly, Foment, and Failure101
6On - and Off - the Track127
7A Clockwork Railroad?145
The Tramway
8Above the Clouds: the Aerial Tramway167
9Colorado's Grandest Scenic Trip191
10Engineering194
11Abandonment196
Appendices
AArgentine Ghost198
BArticles of Incorporation202
CEmployees and Others208
DStation List214
Bibliography    220
Index221

For less than five dollars, a citizen of Denver in 1908 could ride in comfort in a narrow gauge railroad car from Denver's mile-high altitude to Mount McClellan's over 13,000-foot heights. Credit for this unusual opportunity must of necessity be given to the Reverend Edward J. Wilcox, a one-time Methodist minister who built the Argentine Central Railway which ran from Silver Plume, Colorado, to Mount McClellan, almost 16 miles distant. The story of the railroad's rise and fall is covered in Stairway to the Stars and is liberally sprinkled with optimism and pessimism, hope and despair, and---most importantly---profit and loss.
A succession of corporate presidents attempted to guide the three-foot-wide railroad's path through not only the tortuous physical curves encountered on its climb to the silvery heights, but also to direct its financial course in brave but futile attempts to avoid the cavernous depths of bankruptcy.
The rails now are gone. What did the little railroad leave behind, besides a roadbed now being recaptured by natural forces? A nearby mountain bears the founder's name. A few rails are still in place at isolated mine dumps. But mostly it left pleasant memories. Passengers were delighted by hundreds of acres of wildflowers and awed by vistas of some of Colorado's most rugged mountain scenery. Thousands of snapshots were taken by tourists at the end-of-track more that two and a half miles above sea level. And there was an industrial side to this railroad, too. Mining men still recall the supplies and mining and milling equipment carried up to the mines by the Shay-powered trains and the ore carried down in return.
The founder of the railroad was forced to sell after it accumulated an almost three-quarter-milliondollar deficit. But between its inception and final death throes when the rails were torn up, the reader will discover many anecdotes of this little railroad that added so much to Colorado's colorful history.

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